|INVISIBLE LIFEJOJO RABBITUNCUT GEMS|
There came a point early on in Karim Aïnouz’s drama of separated sisters, Invisible Life, where I wondered if the way he depicted a scene veered a little too sharply into the melodramatic and borderline hysterical. Then I remembered how the poster billed the film: a tropical melodrama. Once I reset my bearings a bit, I found the narrative quite engrossing and the story rather moving.
“Melodrama” often carries a pejorative connotation, a malady from which I am not exempt as shown by my near dismissal of Invisible Life from the jump. The term makes for a frequent descriptor tossed out when emotion gets dialed up to unrealistic or exaggerated levels. It’s used to decry the efforts of filmmakers who go big when they should instead go deep and mine the interiority of their characters. These grandiose moments serve as a cheap substitute for feeling rather than the way they should in the hands of a gifted practitioner like Aïnouz. Invisible Life provides artistic representation of the quiet tragedies and unspoken miseries affecting individuals. Women in particular, as marginalization can often amplify the tensions. In doing so, it offers a similar scale of sensation to the audience as is experienced by the characters themselves.
Why this quasi-academic rambling about the nature of the genre to which Invisible Life belongs? It’s of the utmost importance to understand the tradition and context in which Aïnouz operates. Without this knowledge, the film would probably feel like a carousel of misfortunes befalling siblings Eurídice Carol Duarte and Guida Julia Stockler in mid-20th century Rio de Janeiro. The former sticks around Brazil to please her family, yearning to spread her wings as a classical pianist yet seeing them clipped by her partner in a loveless – and often abusive – marriage. The latter, on the other hand, elopes with a Greek sailor only to return pregnant and abandoned soon after. Yet their family’s strictures around tradition, honor and gender performance prevents the sisters from ever knowing that they walk the same city streets once more.
The sense that Eurídice and Guida are rendered ships passing in the night, unable to share the burdens that crush them in Brazil’s heavily patriarchal society, lends a pervasive aura of sadness to the film. They’re separated by life’s circumstances but inexorably connected by the inevitable struggles endured by Brazilian women. Their geographical proximity provides no comfort and only serves to underscore the larger challenges faced by women. So much basic freedom, dignity and autonomy remains in sight yet just outside their grasp. It’s in this intractable, untraversable gap where the exquisite melodrama of Invisible Life organically arises.
Aïnouz treats their situation with great empathy and sincerity, never allowing compassion to...
The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.
In this edition, find out about the big differences between the Best Picture nominated Jojo Rabbit and Christine Leunens’ novel on which it’s based, Caging Skies. Plus, watch how kids react when parents show them 90s cartoons like Rugrats, Hey Arnold, Beavis & Butt-Head, and more. Finally, Nick Offerman takes a look back at some of his movie famous characters, especially Parks and Recreation.
First up, CineFix‘s new edition of What’s The Difference focuses on Jojo Rabbit, which was adapted from Christine Leunens‘ novel Caging Skies. While the movie is a hilarious satire mixed with heavy dose of heart-wrenching drama, the book isn’t comedic whatsoever. The movie’s script covers less than half of the original story in the book, so there’s a lot to compare and contrats.
Next up, parents who grew up in the 90s sit down to show their kids clips from cartoons they grew up with like Rugrats, Hey Arnold, Beavis & Butt-Head and Rocko’s Modern Life. See how they react when they see animation, that is clearly older than the cartoons they’re used to watching, and try not to feel old.
Finally, with Nick Offerman appearing in the FX on Hulu series Devs, the folks at GQ had the actor take a look back at some of his more famous characters. Obviously he covers Parks and Recreation, but he also covers the LEGO Movie, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, We’re The Millers, Hearts Beat Loud, and more.
Uncut Gems generated a massive buzz for its inclusion of unexpected guest performances from the likes of Kevin Garnett and The Weeknd but it turns out there was one potential performance we all missed out on. According to Harlem rap godfather Cam'ron, he was supposed to star in the film alongside Jonah Hill and Manhattan Diamond District jewelers Izzy and Joseph Aranbayev aka Avianne & Co., but he was ultimately bypassed for unknown reasons.
Cam posted to Instagram in response to a feature on Complex about Avianne & Co. and their role in helping to make the Safdie brothers' film a reality. The feature reveals that the Aranbayev brothers were supposed to join the other sibling duo in crafting the film — however, despite providing many of the jewelry pieces used in it, they didn't get the opportunity to appear in it themselves.
Cam'ron not only confirmed their story, he added a detail of his own: That he believes Josh Safdie used him to get to the Aranbayev brothers, as he was one of their loyal customers. He complains that the role they wanted to give his was “sucker ass role” and that he didn't even get a shout-out in the credits. However, he insists that Safdie is “still my guy” and jokingly requests a consultant fee, ultimately congratulates everyone involved on the film's success.
Check out the post above.